Jarrett Nash, a 24-year-old poker player from Texas, entered the fifth day of play at the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event with a stack of more than 500,000. However, he didn’t show up because of the Jewish Sabbath, Card Player was told over the phone by his cousin.
He blinded out in 171st place for a score of $44,655.
“He’s just not there due to his wife’s religion, I guess,” said the cousin, who wished not to be mentioned by name. “He’s in his hotel room with her until 8ish. They are recently married and what not, so this is the first time this has happened. And I believe this is his first big [poker] payout.”
The floor staff at the WSOP also confirmed the story, telling Card Player that Nash told them after day 4 that he wouldn’t show up because of the religious observance.
The cousin said that “to his knowledge” Nash isn’t even Jewish, unless he converted after the marriage.
Nash is staying in his room at the Bellagio. Card Player was connected to Nash’s room at the casino, but the attempt to contact him was unsuccessful.
His family, at first, was wondering where he was and if he was “healthy,” the cousin said.
The 2012 Main Event will award $8.5 million to the winner. Nash entered play with just 282 remaining out of the 6,598-player starting field.
Jack Effel, tournament director for the World Series, said players not showing up for the later days of tournaments for various reasons actually isn’t unheard of.
As of around 6 p.m. local time in Las Vegas, Nash hadn’t picked up his prize money.